Steve Nash, Rudy Gay and Other NBA Stars Who Need a Trade in 2013-14
One of the many things we've learned early in this 2013-14 season is that a lot of the players involved in offseason trade rumors truly do need a change of scenery.
Some guys are on big contracts that their teams may want to shed for financial reasons. Some are unnecessary flotsam at crowded positions. Some are over the hill.
Whatever the reasons, each of the 10 players in this slideshow have found themselves in the NBA's always entertaining rumor mill and could be much more useful on different teams.
All stats courtesy of Basketball-Reference or NBA.com unless otherwise noted.
Ben Gordon, Charlotte Bobcats
Ben Gordon is in his 10th NBA season, a career 40.3 percent three-point shooter and in no way a part of Charlotte Bobcats coach Steve Clifford's plans for the team.
Charlotte has younger wings in Gerald Henderson and Jeffery Taylor ahead of Gordon in its rotation, and according to a February report from Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski, the Bobcats wanted to move the veteran last season.
According to Wojnarowski, "After a bout of disruptive behavior from Ben Gordon targeted at Charlotte Bobcats coach Mike Dunlap, the franchise's desire to trade the guard has deepened, league sources told Yahoo! Sports."
Things don't appear to have gotten better for Gordon as Henderson and Taylor have taken the majority of the Bobcats' shooting guard minutes through five games in 2013-14. Gordon has appeared in just one of those contests, and he only played nine minutes in that appearance.
That doesn't mean that he has no value. As an expiring contract, some team may be very willing to rent Gordon's sharpshooting for the last couple months of the season and a playoff run.
Gerald Wallace, Boston Celtics
The Boston Herald's Steve Bulpett has reported that the Celtics have already tried to float Gerald Wallace in the trade rumor mill, saying "it's not surprising to learn that the Celts have tried to discuss Wallace in trades."
Wallace is a 31-year-old veteran on a three-year contract worth over $30 million. Those aren't exactly welcome parts in a rebuilding equation. The Celtics want cap space and minutes for young guys as they try to develop a core that will compete later rather than now.
The problem for Boston is that Wallace is going to be tough to move, and according to Bulpett, "with $10.1 million coming his way this season and the next two, the options are limited in this regard."
However, the NBA has taught us more than once that its climate is conducive to the cultivation of crazy deals. General managers whose teams are on the fringe of contention and in need of a defensive presence on the wing may look to get creative for Wallace around the trade deadline.
Andre Miller, Denver Nuggets
Andre Miller may be 37 years old, but he can still play.
Since he rejoined the Nuggets in 2011, Miller has averaged 9.6 points and 6.2 assists in 26.7 minutes per game. He's the picture of a crafty vet with solid handles, touch around the rim and an old-school, pass-first mentality.
Thing is, his skills are pretty redundant in Denver.
The Nuggets already have Ty Lawson and Nate Robinson at point guard. Both are sub-6-foot point guards whose lack of size makes two-guard lineups with Miller defensively liable.
On top of that, one of Miller's biggest fans was coach George Karl, who is now an analyst for ESPN.
What Denver needs is a wing who can replace some of what it lost when Andre Iguodala went to Golden State and while Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari recover from injuries.
A straight-up swap of Miller for Utah's Brandon Rush would benefit both sides.
Rush gives Denver a three-and-D guy, while Miller instantly lends credibility to what is currently the worst point guard rotation in the league. And when Trey Burke returns from injury, Miller can play on-court mentor to the rookie.
Omer Asik, Houston Rockets
Houston diffused the situation by suggesting Asik and Howard could share the floor.
Now, coach Kevin McHale looks to be all-in for that Asik/Howard frontcourt. And just as many predicted, it's not working.
Compare the stats of Houston's two most frequently deployed lineups—one with the duo of Asik and Howard and one with the duo of Howard and Omri Casspi.
|Lin, Harden, Parsons, Howard, Asik||10.1||43.3%||16.7%||9.6||2.6||17.8||-2|
|Lin, Harden, Parsons, Casspi, Howard||7.9||50%||35.7%||10||3.7||19.3||+2.3|
The Casspi group shoots better and puts up more points, rebounds and assists in less time.
The spacing issues everyone was worried about are very real. And even though this is a small sample size, watching the Rockets suggests things aren't going to turn around.
All the talk of Asik for a stretch 4 is going to be loud and steady until a deal gets done or the trade deadline passes.
Steve Nash, Los Angeles Lakers
Watching Steve Nash this season has been one of the sadder things I've witnessed as a basketball fan.
The 39-year-old Nash has looked physically outmatched in every Lakers game this season. His athleticism has betrayed him to the point where his clever handles and quick release are no longer enough to be effective.
So the question is: Does any team in the NBA want a point guard well past his prime who may not be able to play more than 25 minutes a game and whose contract doesn't expire until 2015?
Well, maybe if he's redefined from point guard to three-point specialist.
Nash may only be shooting 28.1 percent from the field, but he's still canning 50 percent of his three-point attempts. He could be a nice weapon to create space in the lane for a team with a scoring big man.
In a tweet from November 3, he said, "Steve Nash is another vet who may be traded this year. I've heard Toronto as a possible landing spot for Nash from multiple league sources."
Amar'e Stoudemire, New York Knicks
I don't anticipate many arguments on two things: Amar'e Stoudemire needs a change of scenery, and his contract is darn-near unmovable.
Over the next two years, he's owed $45.1 million. That would be about one-third of a team's cap space until the summer of 2015. And tack Stoudemire's multiple knee surgeries since signing with the New York Knicks onto that.
With those things working against the two parties, Stoudemire and the Knicks may be stuck with each other in spite of the fact that the relationship just isn't working out.
If there is a silver lining to all this, it's that Stoudemire may now have a chance to prove his worth to the organization or raise his value around the league in the absence of the recently injured Tyson Chandler.
He certainly can't be less effective than Andrea Bargnani—he of the 8.3 player efficiency rating and two rebounds a game.
Jameer Nelson, Orlando Magic
That hasn't done much for Jameer Nelson's security with the team though.
According to ESPN's Marc Stein, "The Magic, according to the latest rumbles, would surrender Nelson today if offered a future first-round pick for him."
Nelson doesn't fit into Orlando's future plans. Nikola Vucevic already looks like a top-tier center, Victor Oladipo looks like at least No. 2 in the Rookie of the Year race and one more young piece could improve their future outlook.
The problem is, not many teams are going to want to forfeit a first-round pick from the star-studded 2014 draft class for what would likely be a backup point guard.
Perhaps if the Magic were okay with a pick in the 20s, a deal with a contender lacking depth at the 1 could get done.
Goran Dragic, Phoenix Suns
Like the Magic, the Phoenix Suns are outperforming expectations right now. But it's harder to see their Cinderella story carrying on through the season.
They play in the tougher Western Conference and have fewer established players on the roster.
As things start to head south, Phoenix may realize that there's at least one more move that could increase its chances in the "Riggin' for Wiggins" sweepstakes.
That move, of course, would be dealing point guard Goran Dragic.
Eric Bledsoe has exploded out of the gate in 2013-14, averaging 21 points, 7.2 assists and five rebounds while shooting 50 percent from the field.
It's clear that Bledsoe is the future at the position for Phoenix, and that might make Dragic expendable.
Jimmer Fredette, Sacramento Kings
Jimmer Fredette has needed a change of scenery almost since the day he was traded to the Sacramento Kings on draft night back in 2011.
He's been surrounded by chuck-it-up guards since day one, and the coach who believed in him, Paul Westphal, was fired seven games into Jimmer's rookie year.
After struggling through a very difficult situation that first season, things got worse in some ways during his second campaign.
Keith Smart gave him fewer minutes in 2012-13, but Jimmer managed to hit 41.7 percent of his three-point attempts and proved that he can be a very dangerous perimeter scorer.
None of that has done much to influence Sacramento's new head coach Mike Malone, who has played Jimmer a total of three minutes in 2013-14.
He's buried on the depth chart behind Greivis Vasquez and Isaiah Thomas at point guard and Marcus Thornton and Ben McLemore at shooting guard.
Barring injuries, Jimmer is not likely to get many minutes with the Kings, and it would be a shame for such great shooting to go to waste.
That's his primary skill, and it's one that is in high demand around the NBA these days. Plenty of teams could use his ability to space the floor.
As USA Today's Sam Amick reported, "The Kings, according to the person, have received trade interest from about two teams about Fredette and, surprisingly, the Utah Jazz are not known to be among that group."
The Jazz not being interested makes no sense to me, but maybe they're just holding their cards close to the chest.
Rudy Gay, Toronto Raptors
ESPN's Marc Stein recently reported that the Raptors have made everyone but Jonas Valanciunas available as new general manager Masai Ujiri looks to turn this organization around.
And you can bet the player Ujiri would like to move most is the one costing the team the most money.
Rudy Gay is owed $37.2 million over the next two seasons (the second is a player option) and hasn't done much to prove he's worth nearly one-third of Toronto's cap space.
His PER is slightly higher with the Raptors than it was with the Grizzlies, but he's still shooting just 41.3 percent from the field (33.7 percent this season).
In terms of efficiency, Toronto may be able to get a little more bang for its buck than Gay's volume scoring.
For 140-character pearls of wisdom from Bleacher Report's Andy Bailey, follow him on Twitter @AndrewDBailey.